Healthcare Business Week in Review: Medicare beneficiaries, Pediatric Mental Health, Hospital Scorecards

Friday, November 8th, 2013
This post was written by Cheryl Miller

The insurance marketplace rollout continues to be problematic for many consumers, but there is some good news for Medicare beneficiaries: they are seeing significant out-of-pocket savings since the ACA was implemented, savings that will most likely continue through 2014, CMS officials say. Plus, they don’t need to sign up for the new health insurance marketplaces, as they are already covered by Medicare.

Some disturbing news from the Annual American Academy of Pediatrics: mental health diagnoses for children have jumped 30 percent in the last four years, with ADHD leading the pack, followed by anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Mental health diagnoses run about a third higher for children with Medicaid insurance compared with commercial coverage, researchers say, and clinicians need to seek a deeper understanding as to why. More inside.

Nearly 440,000 Americans are dying annually from preventable hospital errors, making them the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to a Fall 2013 update to The Leapfrog Group Hospital Safety Score report.

The annual report, which also assigns A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,500 U.S. general hospitals, shows that many hospitals are making headway in addressing errors, accidents, injuries and infections that kill or hurt patients, but overall progress is slow.

The extensive report also lists the states that earned the highest and lowest grades: among them, Maine claims the number one spot for the state with the highest percentage of “A” hospitals.

A significant and growing performance gap exists between dual eligible and non-dual eligible members when it comes to CMS Five-Star Quality rating measures, according to a study from Inovalon, Inc., a leading provider of data-driven healthcare solutions.

The study finds that a significant association exists between Medicare-Medicaid dual eligible status and lower performance on specific Part C and D measure Star ratings. The results point to the integral role that income, race/ethnicity, and gender play on the HEDIS® and CMS Part D measures used in the Five-Star rating system.

It’s not too late to take our Healthcare Trends in 2014 survey; from an early surge in Medicare ACOs to the rocky introduction of ACA-mandated health insurance exchanges during a government shutdown, healthcare in 2013 has been nothing short of unpredictable. Please tell us about the last 12 months and how your organization is preparing for 2014 by completing HIN’s ninth annual survey on Healthcare Trends by November 18, 2013. You’ll receive a free executive summary of the compiled results, and your responses will be kept strictly confidential. One respondent will win a training DVD of the “2014 Healthcare Trends and Forecasts” webinar recorded on October 30, 2013.

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